I spend a lot of time on the internet researching various markets for myself and clients. I have been shocked by how many websites, blogs, and social media accounts of well-respected professionals have been left to languish for not one, not two, but in many cases - several months. As my teenage daughter would say…… OMG seriously????
Believe me, I know how hard it can be to keep your online content updated… I sit here today writing on a Saturday because I’ve gone two weeks without a blog post and it’s been eating at me. I’ve been busy doing client work (yay!) but I also know my efforts to market myself for future work will be undermined if I don’t regularly blog and share marketing musings on Twitter and Facebook. Those to whom I am pitching must be impressed when they visit my site and they must see me as current and relevant.
The same goes for you. However, there are many out there who are not paying attention and it is really damaging their personal brand and reputation. And further, it’s costing them business. Jay Jaffe wrote about this in his white paper A realistic look at lost opportunity costs connected with website content writing delays, specifically for the legal industry:
The website only becomes top-of-mind when a partner learns that a prospect turned to another law firm for representation when it saw that this newly merged law firm’s website was unimpressive and out of date.
It happens, and it happens a lot. Like the rest of us, lawyers get busy with billable work and put off updating their web bios and practice descriptions, and time flies. The impression it leaves is damaging, but is easily fixed. Even something as simple as having a prior year’s copyright date at the bottom of your site can make a potential client scratch their head. Not keeping current implies that you’re out of touch or worse – that you’re no longer practicing.
In Losing crediblity because of outdated website content?, Cybervise recommends putting together an editorial calendar with planned content revisions on a monthly frequency schedule at the very least. Not only will this keep your content relevant, it also improves your SEO rankings:
Search engine performance will suffer if a website remains unchanged for 30 days or longer. Website updates that will improve performance include adding new content, updating keyword information and updating and validating html code.
There are other types of updates you can make that freshen up your site as well, and keeps up with current aesthetic trends. In 10 Signs Your Outdated Website is Due for a Redesign, Rocketmedia outlines how flash, fonts, colors, photos and other design elements have changed and how continuing to use them can negatively impact your brand.
Further to your web presence, you can also show clients you’re “with it” by adding social media icons to your home page. You’d be surprised by how many websites I’ve come across who have blogs and Facebook and Twitter accounts, but who neglect to put the icons on their home page so visitors know they’re there! But if you’re going to do this, make sure you’re regularly posting on these accounts.
In Five Common Social Media Mistakes, GenerateUK says:
Infrequent social media posting or scarce blogs or content offerings can quickly lose whatever customer audience you have acquired.
Tip: Remember to post consistently. Social media updates should be consistent on a daily basis with a minimum of ten posts (including retweets and replies) on Twitter and a least two original posts on Google+ and Facebook.
Bottom line, you absolutely must commit to putting time in each week to review and update your website, and post to your social media accounts. If you don’t have time to do them all, drop the social media accounts altogether because it’s better not to have them there than have them neglected. But your website is non-negotiable. Get your professional information updated, highlight recent accomplishments, and ensure all information is accurate — including the list of team members who work with you (yes, I just came across an agency website with staff profiled who left years ago according to their LinkedIn pages. What a surprise to new clients who may base decisions upon that information).
It’s about more than content, it’s about your reputation.